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      07-01-2012, 11:17 AM   #1
SomeRandomer123
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Smile My big F30 328i review thread!

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NEW MEDIA!
Yes, I've finally been out of my 328i long enough to create this big thread I promised! The format is going to be split into numerous posts, so I can upload the pictures to Bimmerpost and not onto an external site like Dropbox where they will inevitably be removed at some point, and this thread will be full of those annoying red X's. So, I'm going to split the topics up and hopefully illustrate each.

Now, although I have a lot of pictures, I still aim to get more when it is clean again and a nice day is upon us (for both to be fulfilled at the same time is rare) so I will edit these posts as time goes by but let you know when I do, so I recommend you subscribe!

I have one or two videos but nothing great, and nothing of driving or engine yet so I will be putting those in too when I get round to recording some!
I will be comparing my F30 328i Luxury to my E90 330d SE throughout too, which will give a unique perspective hopefully, as I haven't seen anybody leave behind an N57 for a N20 yet.
I have just broken the 1200mls barrier .

Here is my optional spec:
BMW 328i Luxury N20
Glacier Silver
18" 398 light alloys mixed tyres
Black Dakota Leather with Exclusive stitching
Fine-wood trim Fineline anthracite

Interior comfort package
Extended storage
Head restraints, rear and folding
Split-folding rear seats

Visibility package
Adaptive Headlights
Headlight Wash
High-beam Assistant
Xenon Headlights

Media package - BMW Professional Multimedia
Black panel display, full
BMW Assist
BMW Assist online portal
Enhanced Bluetooth functionality incl. BMW Assist with USB audio interface
Navigation-system Professional

Mobile application preparation
Telephone USB audio interface
Loudspeaker system - Harman/Kardon surround sound
Ext. mirrors - folding, auto dimming
Windscreen with grey shade band
Sun protection glass
Seat heating, front
Seat heating, rear
Sports seats, front
Reversing Assist camera (thrown in free as part of lease deal)
Front & Rear PDC (Standard equipment)
Sport Automatic Transmission


So, without further ado, let's get on with it!

The Engine
In a word; brilliant.

The Economy
I can't be 100% accurate with this because the car has only just met the 1200mls run in period but I've not been too disappointed. On a motorway run, I get about 42mpg which is great because that is where it spends the majority of its time! This isn't nannied either, this is 80-85mph ish and a few bursts to get past folk - no eco drive here, although I do put it in Eco Pro which seems to be saving me a good few miles!

In town and knocking about, this figure drops rapidly to about 32-36mpg which I was not used to, coming from my awesome 330d which always stayed in the 42-48mpg range. If I went on an eco drive in that, I could achieve north of 50mpg!! I usually put the 328i back into Comfort mode in town because the throttle response is a bit too dopey sometimes and I don't want it to upshift as much.

I haven't done the math, but hopefully the price of petrol means this MPG deficit to my 330d isn't costing too much more.

The Performance
Woah. Linear! AND QUICK! Oh yeah, it shifts. I haven't had a spirited driving session in it yet, but the few bursts I've had have blown me away! VERY IMPRESSED!!

Peak torque comes in so low down and stays for so long, it's always ready to go and then the power comes on and woahhhh! Very different experience to the diesel, which came in more of a burst, although there was power all over its rev-range. The diesel felt more aggressive and punchy (and bloody quick) but the 328 is soo much smoother. It just goes, linearly and keeps going. And going. And going! Unbelievably smooth engine and power delivery, I couldn't recommend this engine more! So versatile. So good. Feels so strong as well, which was my worry coming from a torque monster, I thought this may feel weak in comparison but absolutely not!

In fact, it shocked me the other day as I passed the 1200mls barrier, the speed the needle moved to 135mph was amazing!! I didn't even have my foot the floor (and I was in Eco Pro) but I've never seen a car that has rattled through the three figure mph's as quickly as that!

EDIT: Just done an acceleration test, so here is the video! Using the launch control technique, my car yielded 5.45s to 60mph!
The technique if you are unaware, is:
Sport +
DS
Foot on the brake, 2000rpm
GO! (I didn't have my foot to the floor for the initial stages of this launch)



That beats my 330d's time of 5.7s to 60mph, so the crown goes to my 328i! I bet the new, more potent F30 330d can just beat 5.4s though!
Here is the video of my E90 330d doing the 0-60mph sprint.



Be sure to hit 1080p on both of them!

The Sound
A lot of people have said the N20 sounds like a diesel at idle, due to the clackity-clack of the direct injection. Nah.

If you're outside the car or have the windows down, you can hear the clackity-clack but it isn't that loud once warmed up and you would have to be a bit of a moron to mistake it for a diesel engine. Inside, it's damn near silent at idle - lovely!

Others have said that the exhaust isn't loud enough and doesn't make a great noise. It's by no means loud, but it is pronounced and over here in the UK, stands out on the road - nothing makes a noise like it! On a cold start when both exhausts are open (or on the move when both open), it makes a (reasonably loud) throaty, deep burble which sounds awesome! But then when it's nice 'n warm, it's beautifully quiet.

Now I've had a chance to push the car and note the sound at high revs yet, it makes a nice sound and I'm very happy with it!

In comparison to my 330d. Hmm. At idle, the 328i beats it, no doubt. On the move? Hmm!! I think it's going to have to go to my 330d! That straight 6 made such a fantastic noise, but only after 1500rpm really, whereas the 328i sounds good at all engine speeds.

Either way, I like it a lot, and am very happy!

Response
Sublime. No detectable turbo lag, and in Sport/Sport +, savage throttle response! Comfort is just nice and Eco Pro really subdues it.
My 330d had a little bit of turbo lag (but for a turbo diesel, exceptional) and it was never a problem. Barely noticeable to be honest, but on the 328i, nothing!

Think I've covered most things there...
Any questions/requests on the engine, post away!
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      07-01-2012, 11:32 AM   #2
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The Transmission

D
I have the Sport Automatic Transmission equipped to my 328i Luxury, and it's just perfect! I've never owned an automatic transmission car before (more than 18 years since a petrol engine'd car too!) but have driven a few, and been disappointed by most of them to be honest. This 8spd auto is a very different case! In Comfort mode, it is always absolutely perfect! Always in the right gear, always ready to go, always fuel efficient. Eco Pro makes it upshift much more aggressively which in my hilly area sometimes requires it to drop a gear all of a sudden so I usually leave it in Comfort unless on the motorway, when I drop down to Eco Pro. Sport mode ensures it's always in attack mode too so that's nice! It just does a great job and I can't say much more than that. It spends pretty much 100% of its time in D because it's just....perfect as aforementioned!

Now, I did test drive a 328i Luxury with the Standard Automatic transmission and it seriously wound me up as some may remember me saying, and completely ruined the car and engine. The shifts were slow and with 8 gears to go through, it had constant power interruptions and was not smooth at all. It was also less aesthetically pleasing because there was no leather surround, the gear stick was of a lower quality and there were no paddle shifters on the wheel. Did not like it at all and it had me worried that my 328i would be much the same! However, I also test drove the fabulous 320d with the Sport Automatic transmission, and like my 328i, it was absolutely perfect, and I drove it with a huge grin on my face!

It's so difficult to tell when it changes gear - especially as it has run in, there has been a huge change and it has loosened up and become even smoother.
So, I'm very happy once again!

DS
Barely use it because D does such a good job, but DS seems excellent! The shifts that were already super quick in D get even sharper and more aggressive and take it right up to the redline! The S1, S2, S3, etc... display is also very nice!

M/S
Barely use the paddle shifters or sequential shifter like DS, but on the small occasion I did, they were fabulous! Feel really good and super quick. It's also nice just to know they are there so you can take over at any point.

Kickdown
Only done it once now I've passed 1200mls but super quick, super savage, super effective. Nice.

So, if you're in any doubt of which automatic transmission to get, get the Sport Auto without doubt, it is worth a £1000 more than the standard and only £150 extra in the UK!

So nice not having to change gear and still having full control, especially in traffic!

Any questions/requests on the Sport Automatic Transmission, post away!
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      07-01-2012, 11:39 AM   #3
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The Steering

EPS
A lot of people have said the EPS (Electronic Power Steering) isn't as good as the E90, although it hasn't been slated and outright insulted like the EPS system on the F10/F11. And rightly so, after driving the 5 Series, it is quite vague so again I had my worries. Then I drove an F30. Wow.
Then I drove my F30.

Fabulous. I haven't even opted for the Variable steering, just the standard one and I'm really happy with it! It's lighter than my E90 and although there is a little less feel, it's nicer because it still instills confidence when chucking it about but is also more comfortable. And just easier. It's also saving me fuel! I really like it, but it is down to personal preference and what you want from a car. There is no delay from the electric motor turning on and I don't have the notorious vibration at 45mph+. I love it!

Sport Steering Wheel
I absolutely adore the feel of the wheel itself. I thought my E90 was good, it was "meaty", but this is even better! The PERFECT thickness, the PERFECT size and the PERFECT button layout! So intuitive and ergonomic, even for the stubby fingered community like myself - the stalks are perfectly placed.

Wheel buttons
The buttons and scrollers on the wheel are perfectly placed and I think the radio/media/telephone menu display on the instrument panel is really good and easy to use, much more accessible than the iDrive or dash buttons when driving - a very intuitive menu and a brilliant idea! I like that a lot.

Any questions/requests on the steering wheel, post away!
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      07-01-2012, 11:53 AM   #4
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The Comfort

Sport Seats
I found the standard seats in the F30 to be very unsupportive and flat, and also rather uncomfortable. Upgrading to the Sport Seats was an imperative following that. My god, they're bloody excellent! I had them in my E90 too and they were brilliant in that but they're even better in the F30!

As one can imply from the word "Sport", they are supportive and hold you in place, especially if you tighten the side bolsters but they are so god damn comfy too!! Everybody who has sat in them have passed kind comment to their comfort. Like my 330d, you arrive after a long journey completely refreshed and and not stiff or experiencing aches and pains. So, just upgrade to them - they're excellent! They also look really nice, lots of detail on them and the Exclusive Luxury white/silver stitching is really nice too. The headrests are cool too and comfortable. Lots of adjustability even without having the electric seats so I'm hugely pleased once again! No regrets so far!

The Suspension
I didn't go for the Adaptive M Suspension because of one little letter. "M". I didn't want a hard ride, especially coming from the E90, I wanted more comfort, so I went for the standard setup. I then learnt that the "Adaptive M Suspension" is pretty much VDC as on the F10/F11 long after I placed my order, so I though "ahh shite!" VDC made such a change on the test cars I had so I was frustrated! If it was called "Variable Damper Control" and not "Adaptive M Suspension" then I would've ticked the box.

Thankfully, I really like the standard suspension and it's so much more comfortable than my 330d so I'm happy! It's also still stiff enough to feel the road and maintain composure with very little body roll.

If I knew what I know now, I would've gone for the Adaptive M Suspension because it's supposed to be even more comfortable in Comfort than the standard springs and I like how it would stiffen up in Sport mode so this is my ONLY regret on this car, but even then, I'm not that bothered by it because the standard setup is so good!

The Tyres
I have the 18" 398 mixed tyres on my 328i so I have 225's up front and 255's out back so traction and grip is impressive! I also got my favorite Bridgestone Potenza's back! I got these with my 330d too but then they were changed to Pirelli PZero's when the Potenza's wore out (changed by Kwik Fit because I leased through Lex, not BMW themselves) and the PZero's were louder and less aesthetically pleasing, especially on the front as the alloy was exposed more. So I'm a happy bunny, because the Potenza's are quieter and more comfortable, and also very grippy!

These are also the new generation RFT's (Run Flat Tyre's) and you'd never guess they were Run Flat's! My E90 rode heavily on the sidewalls and were rock hard and unforgiving so these new generation RFT's are most welcome! They are much more forgiving and quieter, although I can't speak for how well they wear yet for obvious reasons!

So, only 1 week and 6 days in to F30 ownership as I write this and all is going exceptionally well!

Any questions/requests on the comfort aspects, post away as I'm sure you know by now!
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      07-01-2012, 12:32 PM   #5
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Visibility Package

Adaptive Bi-Xenon Headlights
Amazing! My first Xenon's and I'm really impressed! They are brilliantly bright and look amazing from inside and outside! They don't have the stupid over blueness to them either, they are... white light really, which is excellent!
So, I stayed up late (since it was the longest day here only a few days ago) and went out to test them, along with their Adaptive aspect. WORKS BRILLIANTLY! I turn right slightly, bam, the road is illuminated, left, illuminated, straight, illuminated - just awesome!! So I took it on a fast, windy road to see if they could keep up. They were ahead. I would like to applaud the people who designed these, they are perfect. I've used that word a lot so far, but no word can better sum it up!

High Beam Assistant
I thought this might be a bit of a gimmick and that I was never going to use it, so on the same night as above, I gave them a try. Nervously, I enabled the system, already concerned that I'm going to be blinding other drivers with the Xenon's dipped! Nobody around, the high beam came on (woah, that's like driving with a sun on the front of the car!! ). Then another car rounded the corner and before I could even move my finger to the stalk, the high beam was off! As soon as it passed, they were immediately back on! I was well impressed!
So then I approached another car, in the distance and as soon as the red lights were visible, the lights dipped once more. I passed it, back on! So I tried this in pretty much every situation, everywhere and they worked like a dream! No gimmick here! You deserve a round of applause too.

DRL
The Angel Eyes Daytime Running Lights are brilliant! Really bright, really cool! That is all.

Any questions/requests regarding the lights, you know what to do!
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      07-01-2012, 12:45 PM   #6
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Harman Kardon

600w 16 Speaker 7.1 Surround Sound
ACE!
Super stable, super clear, super loud - awesome! Looks great too! Hugely impressive and customisable but I've found some great settings and it's just awesome! I haven't had any real chance with the standard stereo but if you can afford this option, just tick the box!

Any questions/requests on the Harman Kardon sound system, ask!
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      07-01-2012, 01:26 PM   #7
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iDrive & Tech

BMW Professional Multimedia
Very expensive, very impressive. Worth £2000, not sure, but it is damn good! The big screen is nice and clear and the whole iDrive system is really easy to use with lots of features I'm not going to go into because you can find these yourself! I will mention a few though.

Navigation & Connected Drive
Seems quite good, I especially like the Google Local Search, RTTI, the display, the 3D mapping in large cities, and just everything about it! I really like the little nav display you get between the speedometer and revcounter too, and the woman is pleasant enough. BMW Assist is also very helpful at sending addresses to the car, I've had to use them once already when a business had changed premises, unknown to the nav and Google and it came straight in to the car and was ace!

The BMW Apps are good too, I can view the news and weather on the move and have the car read out articles to me, with pictures! Clever stuff!

Black Panel Display
The full Black Panel Display is very nice and informative with lots of cool animations, pictures and colour and just looks the part!

After hours of typing this now, I've kinda lost motivation and lost track of what I'm talking about so please feel free to ask questions on anything or request a pic/video or something!

I'm really enjoying my new car and will continue to do so until it goes in three years time. And then I will enjoy the next one!



PlugIn
With BMW Apps on the BMW Professional Navigation with the iPhone4s in the Media Cradle, PlugIn becomes available in CD/Multimedia and ConnectedDrive which is a neat iPod interface. I like this a lot, it seems easier to use than BMW's system actually, which I found to be a bit clunky until I got used to how to search properly.

Quick video to show PlugIn. Number 4 on the 1-8 thingy is Activate PlugIn for me!



Thanks guys!


Dedicated to:
PrinceBarin
CoolDude196
svache
E90Fleet
matt_335Ci

Cheers to:
Jason
southlight
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      07-01-2012, 01:34 PM   #8
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Congrats man!

Excellent review!!!
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      07-01-2012, 01:56 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maz335i View Post
Congrats man!

Excellent review!!!
Cheers!
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      07-01-2012, 03:26 PM   #10
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splendid ! any negative comments ?
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      07-01-2012, 03:37 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by patrice03 View Post
splendid ! any negative comments ?
Not really no...
I can't fault this car! It's just so god damn perfect! I mean, eventually, something will go wrong - all my BMW's have had one or two little faults (engine on all I think...) in their 3 year life time.
I'm on 27000miles per year in this by the way!
Even the ASS is quite good although it did leave my car running. Mind you, I've not been able to recreate the problem so I'm not fussed!
Oh and it misfired for 2-3 seconds on a cold start once but sorted itself out immediately and has been perfect again since.
I think I would like somewhere to put the key like in my E90 but that's not really worth mentioning.

It's just that good!!
First time I've ever been able to go mad on the options list and not compromise anything!
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      07-01-2012, 03:39 PM   #12
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fantastic review!!
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      07-01-2012, 03:41 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by 328i4me View Post
fantastic review!!
Much appreciated!
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      07-01-2012, 03:49 PM   #14
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Great job! hehe

Did you testdrive the 335 before ordering the 328?
I wasn't impressed at all by the 328. Sure it was nice and all, but once you drove the 335 it just felt so much better. The whole car just felt more premium.
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      07-01-2012, 03:54 PM   #15
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Garage List
Great stuff, and lots to take in! Got mine last Friday and I went for a very similar spec... didn't take the Mobile application preparation (wish I had now!), the HK hifi upgrade, windscreen with grey shade band, or Reversing Assist camera. On the other hand I did go for Head-Up display + speed limit info, electric sports seats with memory & lumbar support, and sunroof.

Only done 80 miles so far so can't really say much (yet ) but initial impressions are much the same as yours. Only thing that I'm reserving judgement on are the adaptive headlights with high beam assist. On a dark country road they are perfect and spotted oncoming cars brilliantly. However I had to follow an MX-5 for a few miles and the lights were dancing around all over the place! Some of the time it's as if the lights formed a black box around the rear of the car in front and I thought "wow, that's clever!". But some times the full beam came on and eventually the car in front pulled over and indicated for me to pass - guess they thought I was flashing them (well the car might have been but I wasn't).

Anyway, thanks again for a great write up. As I learn more about the car (and sounds like things get better after 1200m) I'll be sure to come back and probably agree with you some more
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      07-01-2012, 03:57 PM   #16
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Congratulations on you new F30 !

And a big Thank You for giving us such a well detailed and extensive review !!!!

When I looked @ your car's speedo, I was rather surprised to see the numbers in mph, instead of kph. For the Canadian market, all BMWs come with a cleaner looking metric only speedo.
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      07-01-2012, 04:00 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RobUK
Great stuff, and lots to take in! Got mine last Friday and I went for a very similar spec... didn't take the Mobile application preparation (wish I had now!), the HK hifi upgrade, windscreen with grey shade band, or Reversing Assist camera. On the other hand I did go for Head-Up display + speed limit info, electric sports seats with memory & lumbar support, and sunroof.

Only done 80 miles so far so can't really say much (yet ) but initial impressions are much the same as yours. Only thing that I'm reserving judgement on are the adaptive headlights with high beam assist. On a dark country road they are perfect and spotted oncoming cars brilliantly. However I had to follow an MX-5 for a few miles and the lights were dancing around all over the place! Some of the time it's as if the lights formed a black box around the rear of the car in front and I thought "wow, that's clever!". But some times the full beam came on and eventually the car in front pulled over and indicated for me to pass - guess they thought I was flashing them (well the car might have been but I wasn't).

Anyway, thanks again for a great write up. As I learn more about the car (and sounds like things get better after 1200m) I'll be sure to come back and probably agree with you some more
Nice spec!
Hmm, I'm totally smitten with the Visibility Package, shame your high beam assist is struggling!

You'll have to post a review too when you get to know your car!
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      07-01-2012, 04:05 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rossifumi
Great job! hehe

Did you testdrive the 335 before ordering the 328?
I wasn't impressed at all by the 328. Sure it was nice and all, but once you drove the 335 it just felt so much better. The whole car just felt more premium.
Cheers!
Nope, because I'm high mileage and leasing it through my own company, the 335i made no sense really because the BIK % is too high and it gets too little to the gallon. Would make no financial sense and I don't really need the extra 60hp and 50NM with extra weight. It would also mean I would have very little equipment on it.

Although I can see the 335i is a fabulous engine and if you can afford it and it makes sense for how you use it, go for it without doubt!
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      07-01-2012, 04:06 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DerekS
Congratulations on you new F30 !

And a big Thank You for giving us such a well detailed and extensive review !!!!

When I looked @ your car's speedo, I was rather surprised to see the numbers in mph, instead of kph. For the Canadian market, all BMWs come with a cleaner looking metric only speedo.
Thanks a lot!
No problem

Yeah I love the display, nice having the cleaner look!
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      07-01-2012, 04:10 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SomeRandomer123 View Post
Cheers!
Nope, because I'm high mileage and leasing it through my own company, the 335i made no sense really because the BIK % is too high and it gets too little to the gallon. Would make no financial sense and I don't really need the extra 60hp and 50NM with extra weight. It would also mean I would have very little equipment on it.

Although I can see the 335i is a fabulous engine and if you can afford it and it makes sense for how you use it, go for it without doubt!
I agree, the 335 is 10k more in Sweden and might not be worth it, but it just felt more suitable. Maybe I was biased since I had a 335 before. I was just curious if you tested both but opted for the 328.

I think you did the best choice, I'm to stupid to make smart choices!
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      07-01-2012, 04:54 PM   #21
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WOW amazing review , thank you so much for this
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/// M-Sport 328i // Packages -- Adaptive Drive-- Drive Comfort -- Function -- Visibility // 19" 403M // M-Sport Brakes // Harman Kardon // Head Up Display ///
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      07-01-2012, 06:23 PM   #22
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How did you get the special Ipod screen to display? Is that through BMW Apps?
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